Dominica, officially the Commonwealth of Dominica, is an island country in the Caribbean. The capital, Roseau, is located on the western side of the island. It is geographically situated a part of the Leeward Islands chain in the Lesser Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean Sea. The island is located near Guadeloupe to the northwest and Martinique to the south-southeast. Its area is 750 km², and the highest point is Morne Diablotins, at 1,447 m in elevation. The population was 71,293 at the 2011 census.
The island was settled by the Arawak arriving from South America in the 5th century. The Island Caribs or Kalinagos displaced the Arawak violently by the 15th century. Columbus is said to have passed the island on Sunday 3 November 1493. It was later colonised by Europeans, predominantly by the French from the 1690s to 1763. The French imported enslaved people from West Africa to Dominica to work on coffee plantations. Great Britain took possession in 1763 after the Seven Years' War, and it gradually established English as its official language. The island gained independence as a republic in 1978.